Hi Annie and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Tempted By Her Single Dad Boss!
Hellloooo and Happy New Year!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Tempted By Her Single Dad Boss is the first in a quartet of books about a group of single dads trying to give themselves a fresh start on a beautiful island off the coast of Massachusetts.They’ve started a clinic and in this one we meet Maggie and Alex who are a bit like oil and water at first…except for a heated attraction….only to discover that beneath their protective veneers…they might have a lot more in common than they originally thought.
Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:
This is in the beginning of the book when Alex…a by the rulebook widower…meets Maggie who is much more a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal.
…none of it had the impact she did.
Hair like spun gold and flames. The biggest pair of brown eyes he’d ever seen. There were probably flecks of gold in them if the light was right. Pitch-black lashes giving them that added visual punch. Cheeks pinked up with the cold or…hell, he didn’t know why a woman’s cheeks pinked up. All he knew was that he’d better get some oxygen back into his lungs so he could speak.
She had a rope on her shoulder coiled up like a lasso.
“Hope that’s not for me.”
Kicking himself would be a good option about now.
She gave him a sideways look and a quick up-down scan. “Could be if you play your cards right.”
Was he—? Were they—?
This wasn’t flirting, was it?
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- The hot single dads were the brain children of Christine Brookes and Susan Carlisle who awesomely asked me and Karin Baine to join them. We had a ball dreaming up Maple Island and are all quite convinced if it was real we’d want to move there. Immediately.
- I love to work with an evocative working title. In this case it was The Baby Daddy’s Adrenaline Junkie Luvvah. The sort of title that gave me the feel for what we were aiming for. The editorial team moulded and shaped it into Tempted by Her Single Dad Boss for some very good reasons…there is a lot to be tempted by! Alex is…mmmm…perfect for a cold winter’s night.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
I have been watching a lot of inspirational YouTube videos lately and the woman I’ve really been struck by is Aimee Mullins (who also gives a great Ted Talk if you’re interested). She became a double amputee as a teenager because of meningitis (yes…I stole that!)…but most proactively did not let that change her hopes and dreams. If anything…it strengthened her ambition.
Our hero, Alex, has been blindsided by the loss of his wife and has become ultra-protective of his little boy. He adores his son and the thought of losing him on top of his wife? Impossible. But perhaps he is wrapping him in a bit too much cotton wool? I love seeing a hero’s heart thaw with the possibility of new love and this is exactly the journey Alex takes.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
I’d use this scene because it shows each of the characters sticking to their guns…but also letting the other get under their skin just a leeeetle bit more than makes either of them comfortable.
“Listen here, Mr. Southern Drawl. That cute little accent and sexy hero act of yours isn’t going to work on me. I’m here to help, not stand around and look pretty.”
She did that all right. Without even trying.
Wait a minute. Sexy hero? Hardly. Work-focused single dad with about as much fun in his entire body as Maggie looked to have in her pinkie finger would be a better description. And a “cute” accent? Where he came from, all his accent did was ensure everyone knew he was from the wrong side of the tracks. It was why he’d joined the military. Which side of the tracks a person came from didn’t hold much sway on a battlefield.
Alex cleared his throat and readjusted his stance to that of commanding officer—a role he’d relinquished the day his wife had been killed. “Precisely why I need you to stay at the ambo. We’re loading the patients one by one. At my clinic we don’t leave juvenile, post-operative spinal injury patients on their own.”
What the—? Who’d drained his personality and refilled him with formaldehyde?
Maggie’s dismissive shrug confirmed she didn’t think much of his behavior either. “I wasn’t planning on abandoning them. And in my world? We call patients by their names. They have them, you know. Peyton and Connor Walsh. They’re kids. And they’re scared. Might be a good idea to come over here and introduce yourself before you carry on barking orders at everyone.”
Irritation flared in him hot and bright. He took patient care immensely seriously. He’d set up the clinic with the highest of standards for precisely that reason, and here she was giving him How to Treat a Patient for Beginners tips.
She was right, of course. Infuriating. But right.
“Hello…” Maggie waved a hand in front of his face. “Anybody home?”
Alex frowned. “There is a procedure to be followed. Chitchat can come later.”
“Wow.” Maggie didn’t even try to hide her distaste at his response.
He held up a hand and started ticking off questions on his fingers. “Have you checked on their life vests? The cover for transport? The waterproofing. The transfer protocol?”
“Obviously. We kind of saw to that when the ferry smashed into the rocks and we all thought we might drown.” She stared at him for a moment then started to laugh. “Omigawd! I didn’t put two and two together, but you’re him.”
“Who?” He was her boss, for one. That should be clear enough. His name was stitched onto his jacket. Made it easy to identify staff in moments of chaos. Just like this one.
He winced. Nice to know his reputation for exacting adherence to procedure had preceded him.
“Sorry. Sorry. That was meant to be my inside voice.” She teased her shoulders into performing an impish shrug of apology to match her rueful I really messed that up face.
Alex gritted his teeth.
She quirked an eyebrow at him.
I’m waiting, it said. And a whole lot more.
Readers should read this book….
…if you like a cosy winter read with a feisty, fiery heroine and a hero determined to do best by his son, his patients, and, ultimately, his heart.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?
I am currently working on a book called A Return, A Reunion, A Wedding and I’m really excited about it as I’m working with a brand new editor. I’ve had a couple in my time, but switching it up always makes sure I stay on my toes.Always a good place to be when you’re trying to do your best (although I just noticed a typo on page 26….write it you can find it! Aaaaack!)
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’ve got four of these gorgeous two-in-one babies to give away which will include the fabulous Annie Claydon’s book Resisiting Her English Doc – all of which I hope lures you into reading the second two by Susan Carlisle and Karin Baine.
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Have you ever had to overcome an adversity and do you believe it made you stronger?
Excerpt from Tempted By Her Single Dad Boss:
“Ah.” Alex looked down and saw her prosthetics neatly fitted into her trainers. “It looks as though Dr. Brennan did neglect to mention your…situation.”
“Yeah. Double below-the-knee amputations when I was thirteen. Ain’t bacterial meningitis a bitch?”
For the first time in a long time, Alex’s poker face befriended him.
“Yes. I suppose it can be.” He looked into Maggie’s eyes. Infinitesimal flashes of worry flashed through her chocolate colored irises as she waited for his response. A total sea change from the fiery woman he’d met on the rocking deck of a grounded ferry.
Everything he’d presumed about her was flipped on its head.
She wasn’t overzealous. She was determined.
She wasn’t irresponsibly spontaneous. She was resourceful.
Every single thing she did came with a set of calculated risks.
And she took them.
Grit. Stamina. Pride.
Those were the things that had seen her through the challenges that came each and every day. Not foolishness. He knew the traits well. They were all traits required of a soldier on a battlefield.
She hadn’t asked for help. Not once. All her energies had been focused on looking after her patients. Just like any other medical professional. Which was clearly how she wanted to be treated.
And just like that his respect for her doubled again.
Not that he was going to tell her. Maggie struck him as the type who’d see compassion as pity and heaven knew he was no stranger to being on the wrong side of the pity stick.
As nonchalantly as he could he said, “It looks as though some alternativee arrangements will have to be made.”
She pushed out her lower lip and tipped her head back and forth as if this sort of thing happened all the time.
“No problem. In other news. I’m still freezing. Any chance we can get me a blanket or I can find some other way to get up to the apartment? I’m sure a few days there will be fine. It’s not like you get massive lightning storms setting places on fire in the dead of winter, do you?” She gave her arms another rub.
Before he could tell her there were a bunch of meteorology students holed up in one of their parents’ mansions on the far side of the island, hoping for a rare thunder snowstorm, she batted away her own question.
“Don’t listen to me. I’m a bit of a babbler. I mean, sometimes you should listen to me. Like when I’m talking about patients. But right now? Probably best to ignore just about everything I say. Except about the being cold part.”
Alex nodded as things clicked into place at a rate of knots. The slight hitch to her gait on the docks. She’d been fine on the ferry, or so he’d thought, but suddenly the guide ropes made more sense. She had needed them for the extra support if she’d been as bashed about as he had been on the journey back, and, of course, the incident with Salty had had her literally on her knees… Hell. The pain she must be in.
Clearly mistaking his lack of response for uncertainty about her work ethic, Maggie launched into another one of her high-speed monologues. “It won’t impede my work in any way. I’ve got several sets of legs, all made to exacting specification for each patient I work with. If it’s hydro, equine, or a long slow walk on the beach, I’m covered.” She grinned. “I even have an awesome new pair of snow boots.”
Alex pulled a blanket from a nearby storage cupboard, belatedly spurred into action by the sound of her chattering teeth. They both stared at it as he held it aloft, torn between simply handing it to her or snapping it open, wrapping it round her then pulling her to him. Feeling his body heat cross over to her. Letting his warmth become her warmth.
Shards of anger replaced the carnal thoughts. She was a colleague, not a love interest. Even if his below-the-belt brain insisted on picturing her in his bed for the night, his actual above-the-shoulders brain did not. The woman clearly brought chaos in her wake.
Some people were just like that.
Patients stranded at sea in a winter storm. Salty’s broken leg. He didn’t need any more drama in his life other than what crossed his desk professionally. He cleared his throat with a sharp cough and handed her the blanket. “No. The apartment is out of the question. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know I take OSHA regulations seriously.”
“Yeah, but nothing.”
Maggie actually laughed.
“You sounded just like my father when I wanted to go bungee-jumping.”
Bungee-jumping? What the—? Focus.
“I am a father. So perhaps addressing foolish behavior comes naturally. Or maybe you’re accustomed to being told off for it?”
Too sharp. Why was he being such an ass?
Maggie thought his response was hilarious.
“Something like that.” She let out a low whistle. “Suffice it to say I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of your cranky stick when the mud-pie recipe went wrong.” She snorted then paled. “Gosh. I’m sorry. I mean, I know you’re a widower, so I’m not making any judgements about your parenting skills or anything. Or trying to be personal. Because I hate that. You know, when people try to go all ‘I get your misery’ so let’s tell each other our life stories.”
They stared at one another in horror.
“Just a little bit like I’m doing now. At least I’m not over-sharing. Sometimes I can go straight off the barometer on the TMI front. You ever do that? Tell someone too much? No… I’m guessing no. From the look on your face I’m thinking…just about never…”
She looked as mortified as he felt.
Why was he responding to her like a combination of abominable snowman and robot?
Why did he keep staring at her mouth?
No prizes for coming up with an answer for that. She had the fullest mouth he’d ever seen. And not bright red either…more of a…dusty rose color. Extraordinary. All her features were striking—creamy skin, a smattering of freckles that complemented her feisty approach to life, the dark brown eyes that asked a thousand questions all at once—but those lips of hers…especially the upper one. He wondered what it would be like to trace a finger along— No, he didn’t. He didn’t wonder anything of the sort.
“Alex? Dr. Kirkland? Yoo-hoo! Eyes are up here…just above the nose. Can we just…you know…start over? Pretend the last few hours didn’t happen? I’m really looking forward to working here and I’m not entirely sure we’ve gotten off on the best…er…foot.”
A normal person would have laughed, reached out a conciliatory hand and welcomed her to the fold. A normal person would have apologized for reacting so strangely. A normal person wouldn’t feel as if his entire emotional vault had been blasted open and exposed parts of him he’d never thought he’d see again.
“No,” he said. “I think it would be best if you stayed at my house.”
Oh, good grief. The blood really had left his brain.
Maggie clearly thought so, too. Her eyes widened and her hands went up in protest. “Sleeping with the boss? No, thank you.”
That surge of blood missing from his brain had clearly shot directly to an area he had been hoping to keep out of this discussion.
He yanked the zipper up on his winter coat, feeling a hell of a lot more like a teenage boy than the founder of a state-of-the-art medical clinic. “Miss Green, may I kindly remind you we run a professional establishment here. This is not spring break in Florida.”
What the…? How had his thoughts leapt from housing a colleague to Maggie Green prancing about amidst sunlit waves in a bikini? Not that the idea of seeing her in a bikini was unappealing. Quite the opposite, in fact. Another blast of re- hot desire blasted in below his belt buckle.
She began shifting from foot to foot and he didn’t think she was waiting to go to the ladies’ room.
“For a night or so,” he clarified. “Not for the duration of your contract.”
“I’m sure I’d be fine in a hospital bed.”
“I’d feel better if I knew you were being properly looked after.” See? He had valid reasons. It was smart. Sensible.
Maggie flicked her thumb toward the wards. “I’m pretty sure I saw an entire medical team in there.”
“Who have patients to look after.”
Why was he was pressing this? Insisting she stay at his house? He had stairs. Only about ten compared to the thirty-odd she’d have to negotiate on the switchback stairwell up to the top of the barn apartment, but…
She was looking at him expectantly. Clearly hoping for a real reason.
C’mon. Why are you doing this?
Because she spelled trouble and he wanted to make sure she stayed out of it?
Maybe. That was definitely a component.
Because she’d unleashed a billion questions in him and he wanted to find out the answers to at least a few of them before she started work here?
He was getting warmer.
She scared and intrigued him in equal measures, but…against all the odds…he liked her.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
He’d worth breaking the rules for…..
In this Single Dad Docs story, since becoming an amputee, physiotherapist Maggie Green’s determined to live life to the full – including embarking on a fling with her buttoned-up new boss Dr Alex Kirkland!
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Meet the Author:
Annie spent most of her childhood with a leg draped over the family rocking chair and a book in her hand. Novels, baking and writing too much teenage angst poetry ate up most of her youth. Now, Annie splits her time between corralling her husband into helping her with their cows, reading (natch!) and spending some very happy hours at her computer writing.
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